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The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of MichiganThe Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is a one-year degree designed to enhance the analytic abilities and management skills of experienced professionals who have at least five years of work experience.

Program overview

This one-year (ten month) Master of Public Administration (MPA) program helps experienced professionals strengthen their analytical abilities and core technical skills while offering them an opportunity to explore a policy field in depth. The 30 hours of course work required of MPA students includes the Integrated Policy Exercise and at least 15 additional hours from the MPP core curriculum.

Course of study

Students are generally in residence at the Ford School for one year (two or three semesters). Students typically complete coursework for the MPA degree by taking:

  1. 15 credits per term (fall and winter), or
  2. 12-14 credits per term (fall and winter) and 3-6 credits in the spring and/or summer sessions (Note: only independent study and directed reading courses are available during the spring and summer sessions), or
  3. 9-12 credits per term (fall and winter of the first year, and fall of the second year).

Students are encouraged to work closely with their academic advisor to choose the most appropriate option. The degree requires completion of 30 credit hours (most courses are three credit hours), with a total of 21 credits required within the Ford School. Additionally, the Rackham Cognate Policy requires that students complete a minimum of four credits of graduate-level coursework outside their primary discipline.

Core coursework

All MPA students are required to complete the following core courses (13 credits):

  • PubPol 513: Calculus (fall)
  • PubPol 529: Statistics (fall or winter)
  • PubPol 555: Microeconomics A (fall)
  • PubPol 558: Microeconomics B (winter)
  • PubPol 638: Integrated Policy Exercise (winter)

MPA students may be able to waive some of the core courses listed above. If this happens, students will substitute additional core courses from the list below so that there are a total of 16 credits from core courses. All MPA students choose one additional core course (3 credits) from:

  • PubPol 510: Politics of Public Policy (fall)
  • PubPol 580: Values, Ethics, and Public Policy (fall or winter)
  • PubPol 587: Public Management (winter)
  • PubPol 639: Quantitative Methods of Program Evaluation (fall or winter)